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Thread: What are you reading?

  1. #3091
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    Quote Originally Posted by Heid the Ba' View Post
    The Winter King, a book about Henry VII.
    Not a very nice man, but an interesting one.
    _____________________________________________
    Gillian

    "Now everyone was giving her that kind of look UFOlogists get when they suddenly say, 'Hey, if you shade your eyes you can see it is just a flock of geese after all.'"

    "You can't erase icing."

    "I can't believe it doesn't work! I found it on the internet, man!"

  2. #3092
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    I have only just started it but "interesting" would seem to cover it. I know virtually nothing about the Tudors which is why I bought it.

  3. #3093
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    Quote Originally Posted by Paul Beardsley View Post
    Treasure Island. I'm also listening to it on audio, which is probably not a good idea, TBH.
    Is that the Big Finish version with Tom Baker as Long John Silver (and his parrot)?
    Everything I need to know I learned through Googling.

  4. #3094
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    Quote Originally Posted by ToSeek View Post
    Is that the Big Finish version with Tom Baker as Long John Silver (and his parrot)?
    No. The Big Finish one is a dramatisation, isn't it? I listened to an unabridged reading.

  5. #3095
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    I just finished Mark Norell's Unearthing the Dragon: The Great Feathered Dinosaur Discovery. Quite a few typos, but very interesting and informative nonetheless.

  6. #3096
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    "Pushing Ice", by Alistair Reynolds.

    Good old 'hard' science fiction, 'harder' than his previous "Revelation Space" books. The bracketing 'deep-time' part of the story doesn't quite work, but isn't essential to the story.
    Recommended for anyone frustrated by too much sword'n'sorcery.

    JOhn

  7. #3097
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    I had started reading The Beekeeper's Apprentice - one of the better not-by-Conan-Doyle Sherlock Holmes books, from what I can tell - but made the mistake of downloading a sample of Eon by Greg Bear, so now I don't know which to read first.

    Meanwhile I am listening to an unabridged reading of Ian Fleming's Goldfinger, as I am gradually working through the James Bond books in order, sometimes reading them as paper books, sometimes reading them on Kindle, sometimes listening to them as unabridged CDs or Audible downloads. Last week I listened to Dr No, read by Hugh Quarshie - and now I want every book to be read by Hugh Quarshie! Unfortunately Goldfinger is read by Hugh Bonneville, who is... okay, but he's no Hugh Quarshie - he doesn't do amazing different voices for all the characters.

  8. #3098
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    Oh, Gosh! A loved possession of mine is Fleming's "Diamonds are Forever", read by Joanna Lumley, who has one of the most beautiful voices ever. No need for different voices. Listening to yours, Ms.Lumley, is heaven!
    Sad to say, it's on a double tape cassette and I can't play it now, but it whiled away many a long, lonely journey.

    The other beautiful voice is - was! - Richard Burton. Here's a taster of his best demonstration, that takes advantage of his Welsh background, and the medium of radio, Thomas' "Under Milk Wood"
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uuPO2Kvqlms

    John
    Last edited by JohnD; 2014-Aug-10 at 12:09 PM.

  9. #3099
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    Alas, the Audible-available Diamonds are Forever is read by Damian Lewis. It's serviceable - not amazing, not grating. Unlike the Lumley it is at least unabridged. But I'd be happy to listen to the Lumley, even if it is abridged.

  10. #3100
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    Not reading as such, listening to some 'Big Finish' Audiobooks. 'Jago and Litefoot' Box Set 1

    A spin off from the Dr Who adventure 'The Talons of Weng-Chiang'

    Two of the supporting characters have their own Spin-Off series as 'Infernal Investigators' on 1880s London

    They have the original cast members reprising their roles

    http://www.bigfinish.com/releases/v/...ne-box-set-557

    Quite good.
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  11. #3101
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    Quote Originally Posted by captain swoop View Post
    Not reading as such, listening to some 'Big Finish' Audiobooks. 'Jago and Litefoot' Box Set 1

    A spin off from the Dr Who adventure 'The Talons of Weng-Chiang'

    Two of the supporting characters have their own Spin-Off series as 'Infernal Investigators' on 1880s London

    They have the original cast members reprising their roles

    http://www.bigfinish.com/releases/v/...ne-box-set-557

    Quite good.
    I downloaded two of their adventures with the Colin Baker Doctor but had trouble with iTunes so I haven't been able to play them despite paying a fair bit of money for them.

  12. #3102
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    The August 2014 issue of AIR & SPACE SMITHSONIAN is one of the best I've seen.

    It has some history of the first Pacific solo flights, that didn't get a lot of press--Bill Sweetman laments the problems in finding support for of supersonic flight. Gore-sat as Triana/DSCOVR was called, is also detailed.

    The cover shows a great model from the Skunk Works, and an armed Venture Star is found on page 44--but the best article is on the new Orion capsule (page 19)

    One of the folks interviewed is Josh Hopkins, who has a dim view of depots: http://www.thespacereview.com/article/1447/1

    But here, he shows just how rugged Orion is.

    Orion is made for the 20,000 mph, 4000 degree 12 G re-entry--compared to that "the low Earth orbit is a Sunday drive." Orion will still use the Avcoatclad heat shield material--" a testament to the engineering ingenuity" of Apollo. The abort system makes up for over half the weight. It will not use the latest electronics due to the ease a stray particle will flip a circuit--"shielding and redundancy have been added."

    The shuttle cockpit had 1,249 switches in the cockpit--about 2,000 in all. Orion has fewer of course.

    There will still be dedicated switches for the most important items, but touch screens will be in use. The article goes ton to mention a book by authors Nathan Shedroff and Christopher Noessel called Make It So: Interaction Design Lessons from Science Fiction. http://www.amazon.com/Make-It-So-Int.../dp/1933820985

    Okudagrams were just cheaper than individual buttons on the set--so you will have him to thank for the look of Orion's controls--that and 2001 as well. Mike was a strong supporter of Constellation--and I thank him for that.

    Air And Space Smithsonian will also have an article out on that in the near future--October I think. With any luck, they will be more fair minded than the gnord running NASAWATCH.

    Check the article out. You will be glad you did
    Last edited by publiusr; 2014-Aug-18 at 10:42 PM.

  13. #3103
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    Quote Originally Posted by publiusr View Post
    The August 2014 issue of AIR & SPACE SMITHSONIAN is one of the best I've seen.

    It has some history of the first Pacific solo flights, that didn't get a lot of press--Bill Sweetman laments the problems in finding support for of supersonic flight. Gore-sat as Triana/DSCOVR was called, is also detailed.

    The cover shows a great model from the Skunk Works, and an armed Venture Star is found on page 44--but the best article is on the new Orion capsule (page 19)

    One of the folks interviewed is Josh Hopkins, who has a dim view of depots: http://www.thespacereview.com/article/1447/1

    But here, he shows just how rugged Orion is.

    Orion is made for the 20,000 mph, 4000 degree 12 G re-entry--compared to that "the low Earth orbit is a Sunday drive." Orion will still use the Avcoatclad heat shield material--" a testament to the engineering ingenuity" of Apollo. The abort system makes up for over half the weight. It will not use the latest electronics due to the ease a stray particle will flip a circuit--"shielding and redundancy have been added."

    The shuttle cockpit had 1,249 switches in the cockpit--about 2,000 in all. Orion has fewer of course.

    There will still be dedicated switches for the most important items, but touch screens will be in use. The article goes ton to mention a book by authors Nathan Shedroff and Christopher Noessel called Make It So: Interaction Design Lessons from Science Fiction. http://www.amazon.com/Make-It-So-Int.../dp/1933820985

    Okudagrams were just cheaper than individual buttons on the set--so you will have him to thank for the look of Orion's controls--that and 2001 as well. Mike was a strong supporter of Constellation--and I thank him for that.

    Air And Space Smithsonian will also have an article out on that in the near future--October I think. With any luck, they will be more fair minded than the gnord running NASAWATCH.

    Check the article out. You will be glad you did
    I now await my copy in the mail even more eagerly than before.

  14. #3104
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    Fire Lover, by Joseph Wambaugh. I've liked several of his books quite a lot, and I remember the events of this one (one of the victims was a student at my high school years before I got there), but I don't like the book. He's being unbearably smug about the lawyers, the investigators, and pretty well everyone else. Really? An arson trial involves a lot of detailed technical information? I'm shocked!
    _____________________________________________
    Gillian

    "Now everyone was giving her that kind of look UFOlogists get when they suddenly say, 'Hey, if you shade your eyes you can see it is just a flock of geese after all.'"

    "You can't erase icing."

    "I can't believe it doesn't work! I found it on the internet, man!"

  15. #3105
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    Quote Originally Posted by grant hutchison View Post
    Dan Simmons?
    Head-messingly good, in my opinion, but not to everyone's taste.

    Grant Hutchison
    Finished it yesterday. I've got mixed feelings about it. On the one hand, it was interesting to read, on the other, it doesn't make a whole lot of sense if you think about it. The author shotguns so many technologies, places, ideas and details onto the pages, but doesn't notice the holes and contradictions that they introduce.

    Some examples that are written out vaguely enough to not be spoilers: Bestos fiber is immune to the redirected lightning from Tesla trees, and is used to weave a lightning-proof bag. Well, why aren't aircraft coated in bestos fiber, why aren't protective clothes woven from it? It doesn't make sense that Tesla forests are such a barrier if bestos exists. How were the rest of the Pilgrims, besides The Consul, unaware of Rachel Weintraub?

  16. #3106
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    Gave up on the Winter King, I really can’t get into it, he tells us everything he knows but not why we should know it. Endless detail about things that are then forgotten as the narrative moves on.

    Next up is "A Handmaiden's Tale" and then "Condottiere, A Knight's Tale".

  17. #3107
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    A lot of Chinese history and philosophy. A dream about Bruce Lee in early July triggered an interest, and I've fallen in love. Wow - what a people, a history!

    1. The Pageant of Chinese History, by Elizabeth Seeger (a very good, straightforward, richly written "overview").

    2. Daily Life in China on the Eve of the Mongol Invasion - 1250 - 1276, by Jacques Gernet.

    3. Tong Sing: The Chinese Book of Wisdom, by Windridge & Fong.

    4. Sunflower Splendor: 3,000 Years of Chinese Poetry, compiled by Liu & Lo.

    5. The Lunar Tao, by Deng Ming-Dao.

    6. China's Golden Age: Everyday Life in the Tang Dynasty, by Charles Benn.

    ...and a stack of others, waiting to be read.

  18. #3108
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    Just finished Peter Matthiessen's Blue Meridian: The Search for the Great White Shark. It was first published in 1970, so I was worried it would have the "sharks are monsters!1!1" attitude a lot of older oceanography books do, and there was a little of that-- there are some gory accounts of attacks and one of the divers says he considers the Great White to be an "insane psychotic killer", but the author has a sort of sensitivity to them, too, worrying that their difficulties in finding one are because the species is overhunted and saying he's glad the team has no plans to kill one except in self defense (and they don't end up having to even do that.)

    Also, it kind of threw me for a loop how shark cages were considered new and unfamiliar technology at the time! I hadn't known that they were only invented in the mid-1960s.

  19. #3109
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    I'm also doing a bit of overlap reading into Japan, including "Japanese Death Poems":

    http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/6...se_Death_Poems

    and have just now obtained "The Pillow Book":

    https://c1.staticflickr.com/7/6218/6...4b53a489_z.jpg

    Which one reviewer described as "a blog from a thousand years ago."

  20. #3110
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    Took me 5 weeks each to get through Le Carre's Honourable Schoolboy and Smiley's People. I am now just over 100 pages into Bachman/King's The Regulators.

  21. #3111
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    The Rhesus Chart, book five of Charles Stross' Laundry Files series.
    __________________________________________________
    Reductionist and proud of it.

    Being ignorant is not so much a shame, as being unwilling to learn. Benjamin Franklin
    Chase after the truth like all hell and you'll free yourself, even though you never touch its coat tails. Clarence Darrow
    A person who won't read has no advantage over one who can't read. Mark Twain

  22. #3112
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    Another awful title: Present at the Creation, by science writer Amir D. Aczel [2010]. The subtitle would have been much better: The Story of CERN and the Large Hadron Collider. Aczel talked to a lot of the key players and gets into a lot of the science of the LHC, which involves much of contemporary quantum physics. They hadn't yet claimed detection of the Higgs in 2010.
    Everyone is entitled to his own opinion, but not his own facts.

  23. #3113
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    Sending husband to library to check this book out for me:

    http://tinyurl.com/m95s2jl

    At Home in Her Tomb: Lady Dai and the Ancient Chinese Treasures of Mawangdui

  24. #3114
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    I just picked up a book by O'Brian and completely lost it. Fortunately, I picked up "The Black Hole Wars" by Susskind.

    I am going bonkers trying to think of where that other book went to. I am packing for a weekend vacation and I swear I have lost more stuff than I packed.
    Solfe

    -----------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    "You're only given one little spark of madness. You mustn't lose it." Robin Williams.

  25. #3115
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    I just picked up Traitor's Blade, by Sebastien De Castell, supposedly good swashbuckling fun. Less dark and bloody than George R. R. Martin, it claims. First few pages pulled me in pretty well, standing at the book store.

    TJ
    Last edited by TJMac; Yesterday at 03:08 PM. Reason: spelling

  26. #3116
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    I re-read Michener's Alaska while in Alaska, which is probably the way to do it. I kept saying to my wife, "Ooh, he's telling us about sourdough now," or, "Ah, here's a bit about bush pilots." So just name-checking my way through the high points of Alaskan history, culture and geography. I generally find Michener's later horse-choking works pretty heavy going - I'd rather read some relevant non-fiction than his fiction. So now I'm off to re-read Pierre Berton's wonderful history of the Klondike gold rush.

    Before Michener I read Mark Hodder's The Secret Of Abu El Yezdi, the fourth in his alternate-history-steampunk-time-travelling-bonkers extravaganza featuring Richard Burton and Algernon Swinburne. I must say I'm enjoying these novels immensely - anyone else tried them?

    Grant Hutchison

  27. #3117
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    Quote Originally Posted by SkepticJ View Post
    Finished it yesterday. I've got mixed feelings about it. On the one hand, it was interesting to read, on the other, it doesn't make a whole lot of sense if you think about it. The author shotguns so many technologies, places, ideas and details onto the pages, but doesn't notice the holes and contradictions that they introduce.

    Some examples that are written out vaguely enough to not be spoilers: Bestos fiber is immune to the redirected lightning from Tesla trees, and is used to weave a lightning-proof bag. Well, why aren't aircraft coated in bestos fiber, why aren't protective clothes woven from it? It doesn't make sense that Tesla forests are such a barrier if bestos exists. How were the rest of the Pilgrims, besides The Consul, unaware of Rachel Weintraub?
    I don't think perfect internal consistency is Simmons's main objective; it's certainly not my objective when I pick up one of his books. I'm happy to switch off and go along for the sparkly ride. A lot of people aren't, which is why I put in my caveat about not being to everyone's taste.
    For instance, I can't imagine Simmons ever bothering with the sort of extensive retconning Larry Niven has tried to do, or that David Brin inflicted on Asimov's work - he's just not playing that game.

    Grant Hutchison

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